Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries can have a devastating effect on the human body. The spinal cord has three major functions which control:
- Motor function;
- Senses; and
Types of spinal cord injuries include disc injuries (disc compression, herniated disc, ruptured disc, radiating pain down arms, hands or legs), compression fractures (pinched, cracked or fractured vertebrae), paralysis (paraplegia or quadriplegia) and whiplash type injuries.
WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF A SPINAL CORD INJURY?
Spinal cord injuries can have a devastating effect on injured people and their families. Mild spinal cord injuries can cause one to lose hand or foot function, while severe spinal cord injuries can cause loss of feeling and function in certain areas of the body. Severe cases can cause paraplegia, quadriplegia or full body paralysis at or below the site of the injury to the spinal cord.
The most immediate effect of a serious spinal cord injury is the payment of medical bills. Even those who carry adequate health insurance may be faced with overwhelming medical costs in the form of copayments and deductibles. Spinal cord injuries often cause disability from work. Disability from work could trigger the cancelation of one’s health insurance. The combination of mounting medical bills and inability to earn wages due to disability can cause unbearable stress on a spinal cord injury victim and their family members.
Spinal cord injuries can be a life-changing event and often cause an extreme amount of pain. In addition to pain, these injuries may cause temporary or permanent loss of function or feeling of major body parts including arms, hands, legs or feet. In addition to causing disability form work, more serious spinal cord injuries may also limit one’s ability to live independently and require payment for nursing services. Coping with the changes in life quality may also require emotional support and counseling.
WORK-RELATED SPINAL CORD INJURIES
If your spinal cord injury was caused by a workplace accident, such as a construction site accident, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. If you suffered a spinal cord injury at work, you should let your medical provider know right away that this was a work injury and make sure to convey to your doctor as clearly as possible exactly how the accident happened. Make sure to report this injury to your employer as soon as possible.
Because spinal cord injuries can have such a profound impact on one’s quality of life, and because workers’ compensation benefits are limited, if you have suffered a work-related spinal cord injury you should immediately consult with an attorney to investigate possible third party negligence claims. Third party negligence claims may be brought against any negligent parties other than your employer. These claims allow spinal cord injury victims to recover benefits in addition to workers’ compensation benefits, which include 100% of past and future lost wages, pain and suffering, and spouse’s loss of consortium.
If your spinal cord injury occurred outside of work and was caused due to the negligence of another person or party, you may also be entitled to compensation for wage loss, medical expense, pain and suffering, spouse’s loss of consortium, and permanent loss of function and disfigurement. Spinal cord injuries may be caused by motor vehicle negligence, premises liability, product liability, liquor liability or social host liability.
The attorneys at Carney Law Firm are experienced in handling a wide range of spinal cord injury claims, from minor whiplash-type injuries to catastrophic spinal cord injuries causing permanent impairment. For more information on your legal right to compensation as a result of suffering a spinal cord injury, please call us at 617-426-9797 or fill out our online contact form. All of our consultations are free of charge and all cases that are accepted by our firm are handled on a contingent fee basis.